Held Captive for Two Months!
Parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have a problem stemming back thousands of years — the rampant mistreatment of women. Countless human rights organizations and government backed programs have tried to shed light on this despicable cultural phenomenon. However the problem continues to rear its ugly head. The latest to capture the headlines involves 12 men in Morocco who were arrested after allegedly kidnaping a teenage girl where she was tortured, raped and forced tattooed for two months before being “dumped” back at her family home.
The Associated Press reported that a 17-year-old girl, only identified as Khadija, was tortured and forcibly tattooed during her imprisonment, while as many as 15 men took turns sexually abusing her.
Moroccan teenager Khadija Okkarou, 17, displays tattoos as she sits in the village of Oulad Ayad, in the Beni Mellal region, on August 21, 2018. - Moroccan police have arrested 12 people over the alleged gang-rape of the teenage girl, a court official said on August 28, 2018, in a case that has sparked outrage in the North African kingdom. In a video posted online last week, Okkarou, said members of a "dangerous gang" had kidnapped and held her for two months, raping and torturing her. In the video, she showed what appeared to be scars from cigarette burns and tatoos carved into parts of her body.
Unfortunately, although violence against women in this section of North Africa is common and usually ignored, the extreme nature of this attack has mobilized Moroccan women to create a social media campaign similar to #metoo prompting calls for greater female protections. The campaign is using the slogan, “We are all Khadija.” More than 75,000 people have signed an online petition demanding action against those responsible.
Khadija’s mother told AP: “I was caught off guard when those criminals brought my daughter and I saw her in this condition. I fainted...I collapsed, seeing her like that, the tattoos, the burns, her honor lost.”
“Why did they do this to my child? Are they beasts? Will my daughter ever return to the way she was?” she asked. In an interview with Morocco’s Chouf TV last week.
Khadija explained that she was kidnaped at knifepoint while vising her aunt during the holy month of Ramadan. She went on to say that her captors refused to feed her properly or let her wash. The captures allowed other men to rape her in exchange for money or drugs.
The girl’s family was hesitant to report the crime, because of the social stigma attached to sex assault, however upon her return, Khadija insisted her ordeal was reported. “She picked up the family records and just went to the gendarmes,” her mother explained. “I followed her.”
Three more suspects (dirt bags) are still believed to be at large according to volunteer lawyer Ibrahim Hashane, who is leading the case with a hearing for the 12 detained men (scumbags) being scheduled for September 6.
NOW GET THIS!! In an attempt to discredit Khadija’s claims, Houcine Harshi, president of the Moroccan Association for the Defense of Human Rights, claimed Khadija was known for associating with drug users and suggested her testimony could not be trusted.
A United Nations agency advocating for female empowerment, conducted a survey in the country’s capital, Rabat, and several other cities in 2016. The results were released in February and found that 41 percent of men thought providing financial support justified marital rape, while more than half admitted to being emotionally abusive to their wives and 15 percent to using physical violence against women.